Monday, November 23, 2009

As Promised...Creamy Vegan Pesto Pasta coming...silly computer/camera issues at the moment.

Please keep in mind that I make enough food to FEED downscale the recipe if you must...or be very happy with leftovers:) Also, my personal philosophy on recipes is that they are merely creative and make this your own (though, it is quite scrumptious the way it was made). Happy eating.

Vegan Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce

  • one 13.5 oz can of organic coconut milk (you can use light coconut milk, but I didn't. I wanted it to have a mouth-feel as close to heavy cream as possible)

  • one 12.3 oz box of firm Silken tofu

  • 3-4 tsp Bragg's Amino Acids

  • 5 cloves roasted garlic (please roast the garlic, please)

Puree all these ingredients in a food processor or blender and set aside.

Vegan Pesto

  • 5 cups basil leaves and stems (or mix it up with spinach and basil and parsley...i just had A LOT of basil on hand

  • 1 cup raw cashews (since people make "cheese" out of cashews and there is usually some sort of nut in pesto (and i've never been a fan of pine nuts).

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil (plus or minus a Tablespoon or two)

  • 1 1/4 tsp salt

  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Puree all these ingredients in a food processor or blender and set aside.

Have on hand any or none of the following: Roasted bell pepper strips, steamed broccoli, cooked peas, roasted tomatoes and artichoke hearts, chicken-style seitan, baked get where I'm going.

Directions (for a party of two)

1. Cook your pasta in salted water (I used linguine, but any noodle will do), drain and set aside. I add a touch of oil to the noodles so they don't stick, but you don't have to. You should, but you don't have to.

2. Place your vegetable of choice (I used roasted red bell peppers) in a heavy non-stick skillet with a "touch" of oil (1/4 tsp) (or not). Pour in about 2 cups (or more if you are cooking for more than two people) of the "cream" sauce and let it come to a tickled bubble.

3. Add the pasta at this time. Stir (this could be where you simply have "alfredo", but the pesto is too good to stop at this moment). Add salt much? I don't know, this is where the recipe will say "to taste". And I know the pesto will seem "salted--not salty" to some, but you will want to add some salt, trust me.

4. Depending on how many you're feeding, add 1/3 cup of the prepared pesto. Stir/fold until well incorporated. Taste, salt if needed, serve and be very modest when everyone who eats this complements you on your very fine vegan cooking skills.

grace & peace,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Little Romance

If you had my life, romance would be the last thing on your mind--but, I'm a hopeless romantic. Tonight, after 14 hours of work (did i mention 14-hours-on-my-feet-in-shoes-that-are-NOT-New Balances?), I'm making a special vegan creamy pesto pasta. I'll post pictures and the recipe (which I'm totally making up, so let's all keep our fingers crossed) this weekend. Til then, look at one of my favorite pieces of Cbabi''s me (if I were Latin, thinner and had long, flowing hair...other than that, all me.)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Public Speaking Career?

i recently had the pleasure of speaking with a group of students and faculty at McCluer North High School last week. Here are a few photos. They were a fun group with very interesting questions. Thanks Ms. Sandra Roberts, school librarian.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Trying Vegan...

I've been a vegetarian for years...I even lived in France as a vegetarian and how I managed that back then still is somewhat amazing...but I've never stuck to being vegan. I tried several times, going two weeks here two days there but it's never stuck. To be completely honest, I've even found myself justifying not being vegan because the vegans I knew were usually more concerned with weight than animals, or my poor Southern mother would "just die" if she could not make regular macaroni and cheese for Christmas or give my kids grilled cheese sandwiches because it's "bad enough you don't eat meat!" Those truly are my mother's words. Or would being vegan unsettle that neatly put away eating disorder of mine? I have many excuses; some valid, some not (my mother).

But the other day at the book store, I go to my favorite section (food, of course) and I pick up this book (because really I've been on the fence lately about it all). I read about cows and what they have to go through to supply the milk to make the cheese I so adore. And how the babies are taken away...and THAT HIT THE MOMMA CORD IN ME. I nursed my babies and only after pregnancy, not supplying milk when I had not freshly given birth...not forced to do it over and over again. I know people who sound like PETA ads turn others off, and I don't want to do that, but seeing it that way made a switch in my brain. So I said it's time to try for real.

So issue: How do I this and separate my personal views from SweetArt business (when SweetArt is sooooooooo personal? We've made the commitment to stay a vegetarian place (no meat or fish), but now that I'm trying vegan on for size...? There is a baker in Chicago I know who is vegan but she serves everything, meat included. Her personal choice is this and her business is that. Period.

Alas, I know some of you are vegan, and I could use any words of encouragement. Did any of you "cheat" before really staying committed...while working in a bakeshop...surrounded by yummy cookies, cupcakes, and (glup) cheese, glorious cheese? Fingers crossed...I'm doing 40 days because whatever you do for 40 days straight becomes habit (i hear).

wish me luck.

grace & peace,


Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Great Debate...

So, our panel has said that staying open later would be better than opening earlier (except on Saturdays). What are your thoughts?

peace, love, and all good things,